Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

The Underground Activist (Literally…)

October 6, 2014 by Leave a Comment


By day, he teaches physical education in a public school. By night, he descends into the bowels of NYC to do vegan outreach in subway stations. Sometimes with friends and often alone, Jim Scotto, 42, distributes thousands of pamphlets – night after night, weekend after weekend.

Vegan outreach in NYC subway

Vegan outreach in NYC subway

“The subway is the perfect spot,” says Scotto. “During the afternoon rush, thousands of people who come through the stations wait on the platforms and ride the trains, both of which are conducive to reading.”

vegan outreach subway

To capture peoples’ attention, he also puts out booklets on columns and sets up easels with posters, whenever possible.

Vegan outreach in the subway

Scotto is convinced that his mild-mannered approach is effective: “I always keep it positive. It’s the best way to distribute the greatest number of pamphlets and make a positive impression on people. Many won’t take a pamphlet, but plenty of people do. And I know they’re making a difference because people have returned to tell me that they’ve gone vegan or are moving in the right direction.”

Scotto does above ground outreach too

Scotto does above ground outreach too

Scotto receives no rewards or recognition for his under the radar activism, but he probably should. After all, he is living proof that one person – working alone – can make a big difference for the animals.

A friendly reminder of why he advocates

A friendly reminder of why he advocates

Your Turn

In Scotto’s words, “More people leafleting means more materials distributed. And that leads to more change.” To find out how to leaflet in your area, please see Mercy For Animals’ Guide to Leafleting.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Darshana says:

    Please nominate him for the Lisa Shapiro awards. Here’s the link:
    You can nominate here:

  2. Nick says:

    This guy is an inspiration and shows us how we can all do something regardless of our situation.

  3. Mickey Kramer says:

    Jim’s efforts, and approach is the easiest and best way to help animals. I’ve done it w/ Jim a few times, and love it. We reach so many people by simply being polite and offering people something to read.

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